Acer Aspire 5739G review
Acer's 5739G uses the full width of its case for the keyboard and numeric keypad. The numberpad is large and ideal for use with Excel, while the keyboard has a standard layout, although it seems a bit cramped on the left side. The keys' action is light and but feedback is a bit weak. The touchpad is moulded into the case, with a stiff, see-saw button set away from the edge of the case.
The Aspire has the same distinctive design as Acer's previous laptops, with a glossy lid, textured wrist-rest and a touch-sensitive control strip across the top of the keyboard. It's not quite as busy as some models we've seen and it's well built, although the lid isn't as rigid as we'd like. The 15.6in screen with its 1,366x768 resolution has warm colours and even backlighting, but bear in mind that it has a reflective, glossy finish.
An Nvidia GT 240M graphics card powered the 5739G to a playable 29.2fps in our Call of Duty 4 benchmark. It won't be able to handle the very latest 3D action games, but you should be able to play most games even if you have to lower quality settings. It's more than capable of playing HD video, and HDMI and S/PDIF outputs give you flexibility if you want to connect to a larger screen or an AV system.
You may not want to though, as the built-in speakers are quite beefy, with more bass than we've come to expect from laptops. With Dolby Home Theater support, you get virtual surround sound, but it's a bit boomy and the surround effects are off-centre. It's loud enough to fill a small living room, however, and makes the 5739G one of the few laptops that could make do for the odd movie night.
With average performance in our benchmarks, the Aspire is suitable for general use, but might struggle with more demanding video or image editing applications. It has a decent set of expansion ports; the only things you might miss are an ExpressCard slot and Bluetooth. Overall it's a well-rounded laptop, but there are better alternatives out there including Samsung's R620 and the Sony Vaio VPC-EB1S0E.
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